Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said: "We think Mathew is an excellent addition to the squad. He has gained a lot of experience for a player who is still just 25 years old and he has played at the highest level, including the World Cup Final in 2007. But he is still young, he is still ambitious and he wants to challenge himself here."
County Durham-born Tait made his senior debut for Newcastle Falcons in 2004 and gained his first England cap as an 18-year-old during the 2005 Six Nations. He moved to Sale Sharks in 2008 and gained his most recent England cap in Australia last summer.
Tait said: "The move to Leicester Tigers gives me a great opportunity to continue my development as a player and I know there is still a lot to come in my career. I've enjoyed some great times in the game already and I still have ambitions and goals to achieve in rugby. There is a superb set-up at Leicester and a very competitive squad. I'm looking forward to trying to establish myself in the team here."
Meanwhile, Australian openside flanker Julian Salvi has also agreed to join Leicester ahead of the new season. Salvi, who has just finished the Super 15 campaign with the Brumbies, is moving to Welford Road as an injury dispensation signing following the news that Craig Newby is likely to miss the opening months of the season - including the Heineken Cup kick-off in November - with a knee problem which has required surgery.
The 25-year-old Salvi has made more than 50 appearances for the Brumbies in two spells either side of a season in the Premiership with Bath Rugby.